From precursors to myelinating oligodendrocytes: contribution of intrinsic and extrinsic factors to white matter plasticity in the adult brain.
The amounts of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), endorphin and triiodothyronine (T3) in twenty-six blood samples from men and women who were healthy or had non-haematological diseases were determined by flow cytometry. Lymphocytes were immunophenotyped using monoclonal antibodies against cell surface antigens, and monocytes and granulocytes were separated by their size and granularity (using forward-scatter versus side-scatter dot plots). Each hormone was found in each cell type. The hormone content of lymphocytes was balanced, but the concentration of ACTH was significantly lower in activated T cells, that of endorphin was significantly lower in natural killer (NK) cells, and that of T3 was lower in both cell types compared with values for all lymphocytes. Monocytes and granulocytes contained very significantly more hormones than lymphocytes or monocytes. The concentration of endorphin was an order of magnitude higher in granulocytes than in monocytes or lymphocytes, reflecting the pain-relieving role of granulocytes during inflammation. Compared with monocytes, in granulocytes there was a higher concentration of ACTH and a lower concentration of T3, which suggests selective hormone production by these cells.